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Photoelectron Microscopy of Catalysts

Why do metal oxide surfaces behave differently? Photoelectron Microscopy at the synchrotron and in the lab were combined to answer this important question.

[Translate to English:] Landkarte der lokalen Katalytischen Aktivität, SPEEM+PEEM transient catalytic activity

The oxidation of a polycrystalline Rh foil, containing plenty grains with different crystallographic orientation, was examined by  Scanning Photoelectron Microscopy (SPEM) at Elettra Synchrotron Trieste, yielding an “oxidation map”. The effect of the different extent of Rh oxidation on catalytic H2/O2 reaction was then studied in the lab by in situ Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM), yielding an “activity map”. The correleation of both data allows to understand the specific activity of specific structures. This work was recently published in Nature Communications.

TU Press Release: https://www.tuwien.at/tu-wien/aktuelles/news/news/katalysatoren-ein-genauerer-blick-lohnt-sich, opens an external URL in a new window

Elettra Top Story: https://www.elettra.trieste.it/science/top-stories/how-the-anisotropy-of-surface-oxide-formation-influences-the-transient-activity-of-a-surface-reaction.html, opens an external URL in a new window

Original paper: P. Winkler et al., How the anisotropy of surface oxide formation influences the transient activity of a surface reaction, Nature Communications 12, 69 (2021).
link to https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20377-9, opens an external URL in a new window

There are three maps on the picture, firstly the Rh oxidation, measured by Scanning Photoelectron Microscopy (SPEM). Arrows point away from the map to models where one can see terrace-, and step-Rh atoms, oxidized Rh atoms and O atoms. Furthermore there is a map of  in situ Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM) of catalytic hydrogen oxidation on Rh;  activity map. Field of view 500 µm.

From left to right: Favorites sites of oxygen: map of Rh oxidation, measured by Scanning Photoelectron Microscopy (SPEM); in situ Photoemission Electron Microscopy (PEEM) of catalytic hydrogen oxidation on Rh; activity map. Field of view 500 µm. Models: terrace- (light blue) and step- (blue) Rh atoms, oxidized Rh atoms (light red), O atoms (red).

A picture of the teams of TU Wien and Elettra Synchrotron Trieste together in a lab: Günther Rupprechter, Philipp Winkler, Patrick Zeller, Johannes Zeininger, Matteo Amati, Luca Gregoratti, Yuri Suchorski, Michael Stöger Pollach.

Teams of TU Wien and Elettra Synchrotron Trieste. l. to .r.: Günther Rupprechter (front), Philipp Winkler (back), Patrick Zeller, Johannes Zeininger, Matteo Amati, Luca Gregoratti, Yuri Suchorski (top), Michael Stöger Pollach (bottom).